My review is cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/handcuffs-and-glory-holes-by-kim-dare
Sergeant Conrad Rawlings is a fan of glory holes. The complete anonymity is a sort of safety net, allowing him to have a casual hookup. One night, however, he gets to see the man on the other side of the cubicle. And his whole life changes.
Willis Evans knows better than to question his master, so when he’s ordered to let the man he was told to give a blow job see his face, he does so. Then he discovers that his master is preparing to defame Conrad – and he’s going to use Willis to do it. There’s kindness in Conrad; kindness Willis doesn’t want to pay back by ruining the man. But his master might not leave him any choice…
I’ve never read a story of Kim Dare’s I haven’t enjoyed, so perhaps it was inevitable that eventually there’d be a story by this talented, prolific author that would miss the mark for me. Handcuffs and Glory Holes is that miss. While I liked Willis and Conrad immensely, they fell in love so fast I got whiplash and the story simply wasn’t long enough to make the plot work. Willis is young (nineteen) and in an abusive relationship when he first meets Conrad and though he’s rescued from it, the speed with which he becomes involved with Conrad seems almost unhealthy, considering Willis’s attitude. From what Ms. Dare shows of Willis’s thought process, he doesn’t seem to be the right state of mind to be in any relationship, never mind adding in the D/s lifestyle. Even by the end of Handcuffs and Glory Holes, Willis is just starting to get used to being around people that wouldn’t abuse him. While Conrad is a really great hero, it bugged me, knowing that he should be wise enough not to drop right into a serious, sexual relationship with someone who really seems to need therapy and the time to stand on his own two feet. Handcuffs and Glory Holes isn’t a bad book, but it could have been a great story if it were expanded upon.